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Pet subjects: How to calm down an aggressive cat – The Telegraph

Q. We have to keep our cat, a seven-year-old neutered male Burmese cross, indoors between 8am and 7pm to stop him invading our neighbour’s house. He acts aggressively if he encounters people or cats. Is there anything we can do to improve his behaviour?
SW, Surrey
Pete Wedderburn: It isn’t easy to change a cat’s personality or territorial nature: any measures need to be done in an individualised way, so you may wish to consult with a cat behaviourist.
Time-sharing a neighbourhood, as you are doing already, is a practical answer. If this isn’t enough, then the only option could be rehoming, so that he can have his own private domain elsewhere.
Q. My daughter’s 18-year-old terrier bitch, Hunny, and my own 22-year-old female cat, Pooka, are murdering our sleep. Hunny wakes my daughter repeatedly during the night and Pooka gets me up regularly from 3-4am looking for food. Is there any sleep-promoting substance that we can give them?
BP, Gwynedd
Pete: They may both have the animal equivalent of Alzheimer’s: there is no cure, as with humans, but there are drugs that can help with the signs.
As well as that, many older animals have other undiagnosed illnesses (such as urinary tract infections) that cause night-time restlessness. Visit your vet for a full check-up and a discussion on what can be done. 
Q. My Indian runner drake and duck used to be a contented couple, but as spring has sprung, he continually pesters her. She looks miserable. Can I give him something to dampen his ardour?
JH, Cheltenham
Pete: Typically, drakes have too much energy for a single female companion. For this reason, a ratio of one drake to from three to five ducks is recommended for civil Indian runner society.
If you don’t have enough space for more ducks, physical separation of the couple is the only humane answer. I’ve heard of ducks being badly injured by the continual harassment of over-amorous drakes.
From April 6 it will be compulsory to have your dog microchipped in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
If your pet has not yet been done, Dogs Trust is offering free microchipping across the UK: visit Chip My Dog to find out more.
To view outcomes of rescued pets, see petsubjectsrescue.petethevet.com
Send pet problems to petsubjects@telegraph.co.uk or tweet to @petethevet.
All sick animals should, of course, be taken to a vet.


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